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LT.-COL. 

OTHO HAMILTON 

OF 

OLIYESTOB 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

National Library of Scotland 



http://www.archive.org/details/ltcolothohamiltnOOeato 



To the Memory of My Mother 
Anna Augusta Willoughby Hamilton Eaton 

( Youngest Daughter of Otho Hamilton) 

I DEDICATE THIS BRIEF RECORD 
OF 

Eminent Military Service 

by 

members of her famity 



Press of J, R. Findlav, 211 Brunswick St., Halifax, n. e. 



X 



LT.-COL. OTHO HAMILTON 

OF OLIVESTOB 

LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR OF PLACENTIA, LIEUTENANT-COLONEL 

IN THE ARMY, MAJOR OF THE 40TH REGIMENT OF FOOT, 

MEMBER OF THE NOVA SCOTIA COUNCIL FROM 

1731 TO 1744 

His Sons, Captain John and Lieutenant-Colonel 

Otho Hamilton, 2*», and his Grandson, 

Sir Ralph Hamilton, Kt. 



by 
rev. arthur wentworth hamilton eaton, b. a. 



AUTHOR OF 

' THE CHDECH OF ENGLAND IN NOVA SCOTIA AND THE TOET CLERGY OF 
THE REVOLUTION," " THE NOVA SCOTIA EATONS,'' " THE OLIVESTOB 
HAMILTONS," "THE ELMWOOD EATONS," "THE HAMILTONS 
OF DOVER AND BERWICK," " WILLIAM THORNE AND 
SOME OF HIS DESCENDANTS," " THE FAMILIES OF EATON- 
SUTHERLAND, LATTON-HILL," "THE COCHBAN- 
INGLIS FAMILT OF HALIFAX," AC, AC. 



HALIFAX, N. S. 
C. H. Ruggles & Go. 



1889 




LT.-COL. OTHO HAMILTON 

BORN ABOUT 169O. DIED FEBRUARY 26, 1770 

The person most conspicuous in the capture of Port 
Royal in Acadia from the French, in 1710, was Francis 
Nicholson, a Scotchman, who has the honour of having 
been successively governor of a greater number of provinces 
than any other man known in history. Actively associated 
with him in this enterprise was Colonel Samuel Vetch, 
"the son of a godly minister in the Grass Market," 
Edinburgh, to whom undoubtedly belongs even more 
honour in the final reduction of Port Royal than to 
Nicholson, himself. In McVicar's historical sketch of 
Annapolis Royal, the story of the prolonged efforts made 
by the neighbouring New England colonists to induce the 
British Government to send troops from England to 
capture the fort, will be found in detail. In these efforts 
both Nicholson and Vetch were the active agents of the 
New England people, and in response to their personal 
appeals, and under their conduct, a fleet was at last sent 
out to Boston in the summer of 1710, to join the colonists 
in an attack on Port Royal. On the fifth of October the 
force actually appeared before the town, on the ninth the 
troops landed from the transports, and on the tenth the 
surrender was completed, the French Governor, Subercase, 
and his faithful soldiers marching out, and the English 
General, Nicholson, formally receiving the keys. 

Among the recruits who came to Boston with Nicholson 
and Vetch was Otho Hamilton, the youngest son of Colonel 



Thomas Hamilton, of Edinburgh, and his wife Grizel 
(Hamilton), people of high standing in the Scottish 
capital. In early life Colonel Thomas Hamilton, of the 
Olivestob branch of the Hamilton family, had entered the 
Swedish army, where he attained the rank of Captain, but 
later, returning to Scotland, had adopted civil life, and had 
become an influential citizen of Edinburgh. When the 
Edinburgh Regiment was raised in the Revolution of 1688, 
however, he was made its lieutenant-colonel. The 
Olivestob branch of the Hamilton family took its name 
from the estate owned by it in East Lothian, the word 
Olivestob being a transformation of the words Holy Stop, 
the place where the host formerly stopped in its 
procession from Preston to the Cistercian abbey of 
Newbattle, near by. Olivestob House is now called 
Bankton, and its location is near the Preston station, and 
a very short distance from the well known East Lothian 
village of Prestonpans. A careful monograph on this 
branch of the Hamilton family was published in 1893, an d 
will be found in the leading libraries at home and abroad. 
By that sketch it may be seen that the family is noted as 
having supplied many sons to the British army, and that 
the career of Major Otho Hamilton, which we are here 
about to trace, was strictly in pursuance of long established 
family traditions. The mother of Major Otho, as we have 
seen, was Grizel Hamilton. She was a daughter of James 
Hamilton of Westport and his wife Anna, who was a 
daughter of Sir Patrick Hamilton of Little Preston, a 
brother of Thomas Hamilton, first Earl of Haddington. 
His paternal grandfather was John Hamilton of Edinburgh 
and his grandmother, Anna Elphinstone, a daughter of 
James Elphinstone of Innerdovat in Fife, and a grand- 
daughter of Alexander, second Lord Elphinstone, who fell 
at the Battle of Pinkie in 1548. 



Of Otho Hamilton's baptism the register of the old 
Cathedral parish of Edinburgh makes no mention, though 
the baptisms of six of his father's twelve children are there 
recorded. His birth, however, must have occurred about 
1690, and his boyhood was probably spent in his native 
city. In 1 7 10 he joined the force embarking for the 
new world, and the records in the War Office give the 
date of his Ensign's commission as June 16th. In 1714 he 
was Ensign in Captain J. Williams' independent company 
at Annapolis, the company containing besides these two 
commissioned officers, three sergeants, three corporals, 
three drummers, and thirty- three men. On the 31st of 
December, 1714, Captain Williams' company swore 
allegiance to King George the First, and on the 10th of 
January, 1715, Ensign Hamilton also took the oath, one of 
the witnesses thereto being Dr. William Skene, another 
Scotchman, who was appointed army surgeon at Annapolis 
May 12, 1746, and so remained until February 7, 1757, 
when Dr. William Catherwood succeeded him. In 17 17 
the four independent companies at Annapolis and four 
independent companies at Placentia in Newfoundland, 
with two additional companies, were formed into one 
regiment and named the 40th, the first colonel of which, 
Richard Philipps, afterward Governor of Nova Scotia, 
received his commission August 25, 1717. This regiment, 
which Murdoch, the historian of Nova Scotia, says it was 
intended to increase to eight hundred and fifteen men, the 
complement of an English marching regiment, according to 
records in the Nova Scotia archives now numbered 
including officers, four hundred and forty-five men. 
Succeeding Philipps in the colonelcy of the 40th were Sir 
Edward Cornwallis, March 13, 1752, and Col. Thomas 
Hopson, March 4, 1754. 



The successive promotions of Otho Hamilton in the 
40th were: Lieutenant, August 9, 1718 ; Capt. -Lieut., 
July 8, 1734 ; Captain, September 3, 1739 ; Major, January 
30, 1745-6. In the Commission Books in the War Office, 
under date of July 8, 1734, Otho Hamilton, Esq., is 
appointed " Capt. -Lieut, of that company in our Regiment 
of Foot sometime commanded by Richard Philipps, Esq., 
whereof he himself is Captain." 

During the nearly forty years that the little garrison 
town of Annapolis remained the capital and indeed the 
only English settlement of Nova Scotia, the Provincial 
documents make many casual allusions to the subject of 
this sketch. In Vol. 9, Nova Scotia Record Commission, 
under date of August 15, 1726, is an interesting letter from 
Otho Hamilton at Annapolis, to Governor Mascarene at 
Boston, sent as the writer says, by Mrs. Hamilton, his 
wife. The letter treats of the garrison stores, of certain 
Frenchmen, of Mascarene's man "Will," &c. On the 28th 
of July, 1727, less than two months after the accession 
of George the Second, the Secretary of the Nova Scotia 
Council, Mr. Wm. Sheriff (often spelled Shirriff), another 
Scotchman, probably also from the Lothians, refusing to 
act, Lieutenant Otho Hamilton was temporarily appointed 
in his place. The Council at this time consisted of the 
President, Lieutenant-Governor Armstrong ; Major Paul 
Mascarene, John Adams, a New England Trader ; the 
Secretary, William Sheriff ; Major Henry Cope, and William 
Winniett ; Otho Hamilton himself being elected thereto, 
October 9, 1731. In 1730 we find Lieutenant Hamilton's 
name as one of the sixteen witnesses to the subscription of 
the oath of allegiance at Annapolis, of two hundred and 
twenty-seven French residents in that part of the Province. 
May 12, 1735 he received a deed of land from Charles Vane. 



In 1736, during Mr. Sheriff's absence in England, he was 
again acting as Secretary of the Council. April 6th of that 
year he received a deed of laud from John Adams, and 
August 30th Lieutenant-Governor Armstrong assigned a 
thousand acres of land on the north side of the Basin of 
Minas to Otho Hamilton, John Hamilton, and thirty other 
gentlemen. The same date the two Hamiltons and thirty- 
four others received a grant of fifty thousand acres at 
Chignecto, Norwich, &c, which was escheated, as was also 
the former grant, in 1760. In 1738, Lieut. Otho received 
a grant of three acres, two roods, and thirty-one perches 
of marsh land, bounding on Allen's River. August 15th 
of that year he received three lots, June 17, 1739, ten lots, 
and July 18, 1739 one lot of land, at Annapolis. 

December 7, 1739, the day after the suicide of 
Lieutenant-Governor Armstrong, Captain Hamilton was 
acting with the other members of the Council, Adams, 
Skene, Sheriff, Amherst, and Slater, in a meeting held in 
the house of the President of the Council, John Adams. 
The 28th of March, 1740, "having been made Captain of 
one of the companies at Canso, and having to go there on 
duty, he was appointed and sworn a Justice of the Peace 
throughout the province." A royal commission dated 
September 4, 1740 (the 14th year of King George II) 
appointed five members of the Council of New York, five 
of New Jersey, and five of Nova Scotia, to settle the 
boundaries between the Province of Massachusetts Bay, 
and the Colony of Rhode Island, and Captain Otho 
Hamilton, was one of the five appointed from Nova Scotia. 
Since, however, Henry Cope, one of the designated 
members of the Commission, was in the expedition to the 
West Indies, and Captain Hamilton was at Canso, Messrs. 
Skene, Sheriff, and Erasmus J. Philipps, the other Nova 
members, left Annapolis for New England on this mission, 



in April, without them. How long Captain Hamilton 
remained at Canso we do not know, but in 1744 he could 
not have been there, for on the 13th of May of that year, 
soon after the beginning of hostilities between France and 
Great Britain, Monsieur Du Vivier, with a few armed 
vessels and about nine hundred men, regulars and militia, 
from Louisburg, took Canso without any resistance and 
reduced the place again to French authority. 

In 1744, Henry Cope, Lieutenant-Governor of the town 
and garrison of Placentia on the northern coast of 
Newfoundland, died, and by a proclamation dated at St. 
James' the 25th of December of that year, Captain 
Hamilton was appointed in his place, with a salary of a 
hundred and eighty-two pounds, ten shillings. It is 
probable that he removed at once from Nova Scotia to his 
new post, and remained there until advanced age obliged 
him to withdraw from active service. The 30th of 
January, 1745-6, he was appointed Major of the 40th, and 
he so remained until 1761, when he resigned. On his 
retirement from the regiment Major Hamilton must have 
received the army rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, for in the 
Calendar of Home Office Papers in the War Office (Reign 
of George III October 25, 1760-1765, Vol. 20, in the 
Public Record Office, London) there is a letter from Mr. 
Townsend to the Earl of Egremont, of the 24th of 
November, 1761, enclosing an extract from Lieut. -Col. 
Hamilton, Lieut. -Governor of Placentia, to Mr. Bullock, 
desiring bedding for the garrison at Placentia. Mr. 
Hamilton's will was made at Waterford, Ireland, August 
23, 1768, and the 26th of February, 1770, he died 
there, still holding the position of Lieutenant-Governor 
of Placentia in Newfoundland. In this position he was 
immediately followed by Major Joseph Goreham. 



Of the life of the people at Annapolis in those early 
years, before the government was transferred to Halifax, 
we know almost nothing in detail. They had more or less 
communication with Boston, but they were very remote, 
and for society they must have been thrown almost entirely 
on themselves. The facts of Nova Scotia history are 
generally pretty well known, but the story of that little 
garrison in the new world and the people who composed 
the society of the "upper" and "lower" town of Annapolis, 
between 1710 and 1749, remains yet to be told. Undoubt- 
edly Major Otho Hamilton married at Annapolis, but who 
his wife was or when she died, we have so far no means 
whatever of knowing. In his will as we shall see, Mr. 
Hamilton remembers his wife's sister Mrs. Anne Skene, 
and as we review the names of the people in the Annapolis 
garrison it seems almost impossible to doubt that whatever 
his wife's maiden name was, she was a sister of the wife 
of Dr. William Skene, who probably djed at Annapolis in the 
year that his name disappears from the army list as surgeon 
of the 40th, the year 1757. Of the children of Major 
Hamilton and his wife we know much more, and the 
information we have concerning them will be given a little 
further on. They were only three, John, Otho, and 
Grizel. 

In one of the grants of land above referred to, occurs 
the name of a John Hamilton, contemporary with Otho, 
who ought to receive some notice here. In March, 1734, 
the lieutenant-Governor commissioned "John Hamilton, 
gentleman," as naval officer and deputy collector for the 
port of Annapolis, and we have one or two subsequent 
notices of him in connection with the duties of the 
collectorship. In 1736 he was a member of the Council, 
but we know nothing whatever of him after this time. 
Who he was, however, it is not difficult to determine. 

9 



Among the sons of John Hamilton of Edinburgh, founder 
of the Olivestob branch of the Hamiltons, and his wife 
Anna Elphinstone, there was an uncle of Major Otho's, 
named John, who held the position of Baillie of the Abbey 
of Holy rood, an office in the gift of the Duke of Hamilton, 
which seems for generations to have remained in the 
Hamilton family. The wife of this John Hamilton was 
Katherine Arbuckle, a beautiful woman, a copy of whose 
portrait, as well as of her husband's, is in the possession of 
the author of the present sketch. From references to their 
children obtained from abroad it seems quite certain that 
it was their second son John, a first cousin of Major Otho's, 
who was appointed naval officer and collector of the port 
of Annapolis in 1736. 

Copy of a record in the Public Record Office of Ireland, 
entitled : 

Wim, of Otho Hamilton. 1770, Prerogative Court 

In the name of God Amen I Otho Hamilton of the City of 
Waterford Esq Lieutenant-Governor of the Town and Garrison of 
Placentia in His Majesty's Island of Newfoundland being of perfect 
mind memory and understanding calling to mind the mortality of 
my body and that it is appointed for all men once to die Do make 
and Ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner following 
that is to say First and principally I give and commit my Soul into 
the hands of Almighty God that gave it and my body I desire may 
be buried by my Executors hereinafter named in a Christian like and 
decent manner not doubting but at the general Resurrection I shall 
receive the same again by the mighty power of God And as touching 
all such worldly Estate and substance wherewith it hath pleased God 
to bless me in this life I give devise and dispose of the same in 
manner following that is to say I leave and bequeath unto my 
Daughter in Daw Mary Hamilton Wife of my Son Captain John 
Hamilton late of the Fortieth Regiment the Sura of One Hundred 
pounds sterl. as a mark of my Gratitude for her Care and Kindness 
to me when I was taken ill on my Journey from Cork to Waterford 
I leave and bequeath unto my good friend Charles Gould Esq of the 

10 



Horse Guards the Sum of One Hundred pounds sterl. lawful money 
of Great Britain I give to my servant Cassar his freedom and I leave 
and bequeath unto him the Sum of Ten pounds sterl. lawful money 
of Great Britain and whereas the Pension of Mrs. Ann Skene my 
Wife's Sister is not sufficient for her support I do therefore leave and 
bequeath unto her One Annuity or yearly sum of Ten pounds sterl. 
for and during her natural life and no longer and to be paid to her 
by two even and equal half yearly payments by my Executors 
hereinafter named that is to say on every first day of May and first 
day of November the first payment to be made and begin on such of 
the said days as shall happen next after my Decease And I do hereby 
charge my personal Estate and fortune with the Payment of the sd. 
Annuity of Ten pounds to the said Ann Skene during her natural life 
as aforesaid And I will and direct that all the rest residue and 
remainder of all my real and personal Estate Goods Chatties and 
Effects of what nature or kind soever whereof I am now seised or 
possessed or whereof I shall dye seised possessed or any way intitled 
unto (after paymt. of my just Debts funeral Expenses and the several 
Legacies hereinbefore bequeathed) shall be divided into four equal 
shares or parts thereof unto my Eldest Son John Hamilton to and for 
his sole use and benefit And I give leave devise and bequeath unto 
my Son Major Otho Hamilton of the said fortieth Regiment one other 
share or part thereof to and for his own proper use and benefit And I 
give leave devise and bequeath the other remaining share or part 
thereof unto my said Two Sons John Hamilton and Otho Hamilton in 
trust that they and the Survrs. of them & the Executors and 
Administrators of such Survrs. shall pay apply and dispose of the 
yearly Interest Income & produce thereof as the same shall from time 
to time arise accrue or be received into the proper hands of my Son 
in Law Richard Dawson Esqr and Grizy Dawson otherwise Hamilton 
his wife and the Survrs. of them and from and after the Deaths of the 
said Richard Dawson and Grizy his Wife and the Survrs. of them in 
trust that the said John & Otho Hamilton & the Survrs. of them 
and the Exrs. or Admrs. of such Survrs. shall assign pay transferr 
and dispose of the sd. fourth remaining part or share of my sd. Estate 
and Effects to such of the Children of the said Grizy Dawson as shall 
be then living in such shares manner and proportions as the sd. 
Richard and Grizy Dawson or the Survrs. of them shall by Deed Will 
or Writing executed in the presence of two or more credible 
Witnesses limit or appoint the same And in default thereof then unto 
and among all and every the Childn. of the sd. Grizy Dawson as shall 

11 



be living at the time of the death of the Survrs. of them the sd. 
Richard and Grizy Dawson to be equally divided between them if 
more than one share and share alike and if but one Child to go to 
such only Child Provided always nevertheless that in Case the sd. 
Grizy Dawson shall have no Child or Childn. living at the time of her 
Decease then I will and direct that from and after the Death of the 
Survrs. of them the sd. Richd. and Grizy Dawson the sd. fourth part 
of my sd. Estate and Effects shall go to and be equally divided 
between my sd. two Sons John Hamilton and Otho Hamilton share 
and share alike And in Case of their Deaths I will that the one moiety 
or half thereof shall go to the Issue of my sd. Son Otho Hamilton 
and the other moiety or half thereof unto my three Grantlsons Otho 
William and Thos. Hamilton (sons of the sd. John Hamilton) to and 
for their sole use and benefit And I Do hereby nominate constitute 
& appoint my sd. Sons John and Otho Hamilton and the said Charles 
Gould Exrs. of this my last will and Testamt. and Do revoke all 
former Will and Wills by me made In Witness whereof I have 
hereunto set my Hand and Seal and do declare and publish this my 
last Will and Testament this Twenty-Third day of August in the year 
of our Lord One thousand and seven hundred and sixty-eight. 



Otho Hamilton [seal] 



Signed Sealed published and Declared by the' 
sd. Otho Hamilton as and for his last 
Will and Testamt. in presence of us who 
in his presence and in the presence of 
each other and at his request have 
subscribed our names as Witnesses 
hereunto 

John Roberts 

Part Mooney 

Theo Cooke 

Whereas I Otho Hamilton Lieutenant Governor of the Town and 
Garrison of Placentia in His Majesty's Island of Newfoundland and 
now of the City of Waterford Esqr did in and by my last Will and 
Testament in Writing hereunto annexed bearing date the twenty- 
third Day of August Instant leave and bequeath unto my Son Major 
Otho Hamilton of the Fortieth Regiment one fourth part or share of 
my Estate and fortune as therein mentioned for his own use and 
benefit And Whereas I have since executed unto my said Son Otho 
Hamilton one Bond or Obligation bearing Date the twenty fifth day 

12 



of August Instant of the Penalty of Two Thousand four Hundred 
Pounds sterl. conditioned for the Payment of the Sum of One 
Thousand Two Hundred pounds sterl. to the said Otho Hamilton on 
the day of my Death Now I Do by this my Writing (which I Do 
Declare to be a Codicil to my said will and direct to be taken as part 
thereof) will order and direct that the said Sum of One Thousand 
Two Hundred pounds shall be deemed and taken as part of the said 
fourth part or share of my said Estate and fortune so by me 
bequeathed to the said Otho Hamilton and shall be accordingly 
deducted thereout In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand 
and Seal this Twenty Sixth Day of August in the year of Our Lord 
One thousand seven hundred and sixty eight. 

Signed sealed published and declared by the 
said Otho Hamilton as and for a Codicil 
to his last Will and Testament in presence 
of us who in his presence and in the 
presence of each other have subscribed 
our Names as Witnesses hereunto 

John Roberts 

Patt Mooney 

Theo Cooke 



- Otho Hamilton [seal] 



13 



Captain John Hamilton, eldest son of Lieut. -Colonel 
Otho Hamilton was probably born at Annapolis about 
1724, and received his Ensign's commission about 1742. 
The first printed Army List is of the year 1754, and the 
manuscript records in the War Office have not so far 
been searched for Captain Hamilton's first and second 
commissions. He was, however, Lieutenant, in 1749, and 
his Captain's commission dates from March 27, 1753. In 
the army list for 1754 he appears as Captain, Dr. William 
Skene as surgeon, Rev. George Thomson or Thompson as 
chaplain, and another John Hamilton as quartermaster. 
In the army list for 1 755 John Handheld, whose commission 
is dated October 15, 1754, is Major, John and Otho 
Hamilton (the commission of the latter is dated June 26, 
1754) are Captains, a younger John Handheld, whose 
commission bears date February 12, 1755, is Ensign, and 
a John Hamilton, Jr.-, appointed February 26, 1755, is 
quartermaster. The latter ceased to be quartermaster 
in 1756. 

April 23, 1740, John Hamilton, probably Major Otho's 
son, was sworn in Assistant Secretary of the Council, and 
the 15th of August, 1752, while still a lieutenant, a young 
widower, he married (2) at Annapolis, Mary Handheld, 
a daughter of Captain, afterward Major, John Handheld, 
who was actively concerned in the removal of the Acadians 
from Annapolis ; Captain Handheld himself, in the absence 
of a garrison chaplain, performing the ceremony. On the 
27th of November (old style, December 8th new style) 
1749, some three hundred Micmac Indians surprised 
Lieutenant Hamilton and eighteen men, who had been 

14 



detached by Captain Handfield at his fort at Minas, made 
the whole party prisoners and took them to Quebec, where 
they remained as prisoners until some time in the autumn 
of 1 75 1. Then they were ransomed by the payment of a 
certain sum of money, for which Hamilton drew on 
Governor Cornwallis. While he was a prisoner at Quebec, 
Lieutenant Hamilton became acquainted with the notorious 
Abbe Le Loutre, Vicar General of the Bishop of Quebec, 
a bitter enemy to England's rule in Acadia, and in 1754, 
Abbe Le Loutre desiring for some reason at the time to 
conciliate the English, used lieutenant Hamilton as a 
channel of intercourse between himself and the government. 
In a letter to Charles Lawrence, Lieutenant-Governor and 
President of the Council, dated Aug 27, 1754, Le Eoutre 
writes : "I have had the honor of being acquainted with 
Captain Hamilton for several years. He knows my way of 
thinking, and the real desire I feel for the continuance of 
the good harmony that exists between our sovereigns. He 
wrote to me some time ago from Port Royal, and informed 
me that he would come to our neighborhood (Bean Sejour) 
and propose a reconciliation between our savages and the 
English. Since his arrival at Fort Lawrence, of which he 
advised me, he was pleased to accept the invitation to 
dinner which I then gave him on our part. It was then 
that we had a conversation as to the means to be employed 
to bring about this reconciliation. He wrote to you on the 
subject, Sir, and you have since given your orders to Mr. 
Hussey, who commands at Fort Lawrence," &c, &c. 
(N. S. Archives, Record Commission, B. 215.) This letter 
was read at a meeting of the Council held at the Governor's 
house at Annapolis on Monday, September 9, 1754, at 
which there were present Lieut. -Gov. Lawrence, Benjamin 



15 



Green, John Collier, William Cotterell, and Robert 
Monckton. 

The 27th of March, 1753, Lieutenant Hamilton received 
his Captain's commission, and in 1766 he retired from the 
army, so in 1 767 and thereafter, his name is absent from the 
army lists. There was another John Hamilton, who 
received his Ensign's commission in the 40th, on the 28th 
of June, 1755, and his Lieutenancy, the 28th of February, 
1 76 1, and who also disappears from the army list as an 
officer of the 40th in 1766. Whether he was a son of the 
John Hamilton, naval officer, or who he was we cannot now 
tell. As we have seen, Captain John Hamilton married at 
Annapolis in 1752, seven months before he received his 
Captain's commission, Mary Handfield, and in his father's 
will made August 23, 1768, he is referred to as Captain 
John Hamilton, late of the 40th, and his wife Mary and 
their children, Otho, William, and Thomas Hamilton, 
are all mentioned. Captain Hamilton died before 1802, 
probably in Waterford, Ireland, and Anderson says in 
1827, that some of his descendants were then living in 
Cumberland, England. His wife Mary, as we learn from 
her father's will, died sometime between July, 1766, and 
January, 1773. Major Handfield, who became Lieut. -Col. 
of the 40th, also died in Ireland, in 1788. 



16 



Lieutenant-Colonel Otho Hamilton, 2nd. The 
life of Lieutenant- Colonel Otho Hamilton, 2nd, second son 
of the Lieut. -Governor of Placentia is much better known 
to us than that of his older brother John. He was 
probably born at Annapolis about 1726, and his Ensign's 
commission in the 40th was obtained May 25, 1744. He 
was made Lieutenant October 24, 1747, Captain-Lieutenant 
March 27, 1753, Captain June 26, 1754, Major, November 
io, 1761. December 14, 1770, he was transferred to the 
59th as Lieutenant-Colonel, his successor in the Majority 
of the 40th being James Grant. In 1802 (February 5th) 
when he made his will, he was Barrack Master of Romford, 
Essex, England. His death occurred in 181 1. 

Lieut. -Col. Otho, 2nd, married in Ireland, October 21, 
1768, Catherine Elizabeth Clement Hawtrey, probably 
sister of the Rev. Ralph Hawtrey, of Waterford, whose 
name is conspicuous in his will. By his marriage he had 
two children, Col. Sir Ralph Hamilton, Kt., whose record 
will be found further on, and Grizel Ann Hamilton, who 
was never married. 

July 20, 1752, as we learn from Nova Scotia records, 
Mr. Hamilton received two hundred acres of land on the 
east side of Chebucto Harbor, and on the 17th of May, 
1764, a lot in the town of Halifax. In the Assembly, on 
Saturday, October 13, 1764, the House voted its thanks to 
Major Hamilton for the aid he had given with his troops in 
the repair and improvement of the road to the interior of 
the Province. In the Council, December 24th of that year, 
' ' on behalf of himself and a considerable number of officers, 
gentlemen, traders, and farmers," a petition from Major 
Hamilton was read, "for a township of 100,000 acres on 
the St. John River." The record states that the 

17 



petitioners were referred to the Board of Trade, and that 
the land meanwhile was ordered to be reserved. In this 
year, 1764, Hamilton was with the 40th at Halifax, in 
1767-8 he was quartered at Dublin, and in 1769 at Cork. 
After Major Hamilton left the regiment, between 1772 and 
1778, it was stationed at various places in America, in the 
latter year at Philadelphia. In 1774, as Colonel of the 
59th, Hamilton came to the assistance of Governor Gage at 
Boston. Essex Institute (Mass.) Vol. 13, p. 18. In the 
Essex Gazette for 1774, No. 316, we find that the Governor, 
Thomas Gage ' ' deemed it prudent toward the end of the 
next month (August) to move with two companies of the 
64th Regiment to guard his headquarters ; and on the 13th 
of Angust, 1774, the 59th Regiment under Col. Hamilton, 
landed from the transports in which they had arrived the 
day before, and encamped near the fort on the neck." 
Anderson, in his ' ' House of Hamilton, ' ' says : Col. Otho 
Hamilton "died in 181 1, after an active and honourable 
service of half a century's continuance, principally in 
America, under the late Lord Amherst and General Wolfe, 
by whose friendship and confidence he was particularly 
distinguished." In his will he calls himself, "Otho 
Hamilton of the Parish of Saint Margaret, Westminster, 
in the County of Middlesex, Esquire, and now Barrack 
Master of Rumford in the County of Essex." His 
residence in London was No. 15, James Street, West- 
minster. His will is long and complex, but the only 
persons of importance to this history mentioned in it are 
his wife and two children, his grandson Otho William 
Hawtrey Hamilton, his deceased brother John, the Rev. 
Ralph Hawtrey of Waterford, and Col. William Browning, 
a near relative of his wife's. The will was proved by his 
widow at Eondon (in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 
and a copy lodged in the Prerogative Court of Ireland) 

18 



April 5, 1811. For copies of both his and his father's 
wills, the author of this monograph is indebted to the 
kindness of Arthur Hill, Esq., formerly of Castle Malwood, 
now of Fritham Lodge, Eyndhurst, Hants. 

The following extract from papers in the War Office, 
also kindly made by Arthur Hill, Esq., December 9, 1898, 
throws light on the transfer of Col. Hamilton from the 
40th to the 59th Regiment in 1770 : 

To His Excellency Lord Viscount Townshend, Lord Lieutenant, 
General and Governor General of Ireland, &c, &c. 

The Memorial of Major Otho Hamilton and Captain Adam 
Williamson of the 40th Regiment. 

His Majesty by his late Regulation having positively ordered 
one Field Officer to be resident, has prevented your Memorialist from 
making any application for leave, and during twenty-five years 
Service has been absent only one year from the Regiment, served the 
whole war in North America and the West Indies ; was wounded at 
at the Seige (sic) of Quebec and purchased his Majority in 
November 1761. 

Your other Memoralist Captain Adam Williamson has been 
upward of sixteen years an Officer, served in North America and the 
West Indies from the defeat of General Braddock to the taking the 
Havanah ; was twice severely wounded at the Monongahela and 
Seige (sic) of Quebec and purchased his Company in April, 1760. 

Your Memoralist begs leave to represent that Lieut.-Col. Grant 
being Governor of East Florida renders it impossible for him to 
attend the Regiment, and this case in respect to the whole army is 
very singular. 

They natter themselves their Characters as Men and Officers will 
bear the strictest scrutiny. 

Your Memoralists therefore humbly hope that having had the 
honour to serve under Your Excellency at Quebec, that Your 
Excellency will be pleased to take their Service and Case into 
consideration and lay their memorial before His Majesty recommend- 
ing them for the brevet rank of Lieut. -Collonel (sic) and Major, which 
Commissions His Majesty was most graciously pleased to sign for 
them in 1766 but were afterwards recalled. 

19 



Should your Memoralists be so fortunate to succeed, His Majesty's 
Orders would be complied with and one Field Officer constantly 
Resident with the Regiment. 

And your Memorialists &c. 

Endorsed : 

Recommended by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and General 
Williamson. 

(See Calendar of Home Office Papers. George III, 1770-1772. 
Under 13 Jan. 1770, Ireland. Vol. 437, No. 4. In Public Record 
Office, London). 



Grizei, Hamilton, only daughter of Lieut.-Col. Otho 
of Placentia, was married to Colonel Richard Dawson, an 
officer in the Engineers. Colonel Dawson appears in the 
Army Lists as Engineer in Ordinary and Captain, March 
*7, J 759> Lieut.-Col. in the army, August 29, 1777, and 
Lieut. -Colonel in the Engineers, January 1, 1783. He was 
Colonel in the army, November 20, 1782. His name 
appears among Invalid Engineers, January i, 1783, and he 
must have died in 1788 or 1789, for after 1788 his name is 
not found in the Army Lists. 



20 



Sir Ralph Hamilton, Kt., Groom of the Bedchamber 
to Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester, only son 
of Lieut. -Colonel Otho Hamilton, 2nd, and his wife 
Catherine Elizabeth Clement Hawtrey, was born probably 
about 1770. He married in London, July 14, 1791, a Miss 
Green of James Street, and had four children : 

Otho William Hawtrey 
William Frederick 
George Burton 

Emma Eliza 

From the Army Lists we find that Sir Ralph entered 
the 17th Light Dragoons as a cornet, March 31st, 1783 ; 
was made Captain of the 2nd Regiment of Life Guards, 
June 13, 1794 ; was given the army rank of Major, April 
29, 1802 ; was Lieut. -Colonel of the Limerick Fencibles 
on the infirm list in 181 9, and was commissioned Colonel 
of the Limerick Fencibles, August 12, of the same year. 
In 1830 Sir Ralph received the honour of Knighthood, and 
his death occurred the next year, 1831. Anderson in his 
history of the House of Hamilton says that Sir Ralph 
served abroad with the Guards on the breaking out of the 
French Revolutionary War in 1793, and as aid-de-camp to 
the Duke of Gloucester in North Holland in 1799, and 
that he wrote a poetical account of the campaigns of 1793, 
1794. The Gentleman's Magazine for 183 1, on the occasion 
of his death has the following notice of him : 

"In James Street, Buckingham Gate, June 24, 1831, 
Col. Sir Ralph Hamilton, Kt., of Olivestob, N. B., Groom 
of the Bedchamber to the Duke of Gloucester. He pur- 
chased a cornetcy in the 17th Light Dragoons in 1783, and 
afterwards removed to the King's Dragoon Guards. In 
1789 he entered the 3rd Foot Guards, with the first brigade 

21 




■\.;b«aryV 



of which lie served in the campaign of 1793 in the 
Netherlands. In 1799 he made the campaign of North 
Holland as Aid-de-Camp to Prince William Frederick of 
Gloucester, who appointed him a Groom of his Bed- 
chamber. From the 3rd Foot Guards he exchanged into 
the 36th Regiment, and was afterwards Major of the 71st. 
He attained the rank of Colonel in 1819." None of Sir 
Ralph's sons seem to have entered the army. 



Arms of the Olivestob Hamiltons, registered by Colonel 
Thomas Hamilton, in 1673 : 

Gules, a martlet between three cinquefoils argent, within a 
bordure embattled or. Crest : An antelope's head proper, gorged 
and attired gules. Motto, " Invia virtuti pervia." 



22 



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